Shane Carruth, USA, 2004, 77 min.
A group of young engineers sit around a table and discuss their business. They work out of a garage, developing technologies but have not yet had a breakthrough to get them into the big-time. We do not understand all of the technical things they talk about, but we don’t need to. The fact is that what they are doing seems real.
They are lacking in seed money, and pilfer parts and supplies from wherever they can get them (old cars, refridgerators, microwaves friends in labs). Two of them (Aaron and Abe) work on a technology that they find decreases the mass of small objects. After struggling with finding a marketable application of this technology they realize there may be more to it than the initially realized.
In just a few days fungus has grown on their test item. But in natural conditions this fungus would take years to grow. Did they just invent the world’s best fungus incubator? There is another explanation that they work their way towards, disbeleiving at fist. Time-travel.
It’s proven when Abe takes Aaron out to the side of the road and points out a doppleganger of himself walking into a self-storage facility. What follows are philisophical, ethical and scientific questions all presented in a puzzling narrative. The joy is in figuring it all out.
Primer was filmed for only $7,000. It’s a film that relies on its script and the talents of its writer/directer/star Shane Carruth. Just look at the credits! The crew list is smaller than the cast list. What he does with this film is incredible, and that elevates the already intricate and fascinating story into one of the best independant films I have ever seen.